This week's historic May snow fell primarily along a line from southeast Nebraska to Lake Superior, cutting diagonally across Iowa and Minnesota, where the heaviest snow fell.
Based on records through mid-day Thursday, the snow followed a distinct pattern common to rare May snows: along a tight line where atmospheric and surface conditions proved “just right.”
Even within the pattern, snow totals varied widely within short distances, a reflection of the delicate balance needed to generate snow this late in the spring.
In most of eastern Nebraska and western Iowa, snow totaled from 1 to 4.5 inches. Similar amounts fell in southeast South Dakota.
Deeper snow, 5 to 7 inches, fell from the Missouri Valley area northeasterly toward Iowa's north-central border.
In north-central Iowa, the snow intensified. Snow totaling 8 to 15 inches stretched from north-central Iowa diagonally across Minnesota to Lake Superior, mostly skirting the Twin Cities.
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Two-day totals, from the National Weather Service:
Lincoln, 2.7 inches
Omaha (Eppley), 3.1 inches
Bennington, 3.5 inches
Offutt Air Force Base, 1.6 inches
Papillion, 2.4 inches
Gretna, 3.5 inches
Wayne, 4 inches
Fort Calhoun, 4.4 inches
Pottawattamie County, 2.8-3 inches
Harlan & Little Sioux, Iowa, 5 inches
East of Missouri Valley, 6.2 inches
Forest City, Iowa, area, 11 inches